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aka Forgiveness of Sins 1961 196’ b&w Tamil d/sc A. Bhimsingh pc Buddha Pics st Buddha Pics Story Dept dial M.S. Solaimalai c G. Vittal Rao lyr Kannadasan m Vishwanathan- Ramamurthy lp Sivaji Ganesan, M.R. Radha, Chittor V. Nagaiah, T.S. Balaiah, Kothamangalam Subbu, Savitri, M.V. Rajamma, Devika, Gemini Ganesh

Melodrama with religious stereotypes and symbols about a Hindu diamond merchant (Radha), a Muslim village doctor Rahim (Ganesan) and a Christian do-gooder (Devika), combining Tamil Nadu’s three main religions in an effort to promote communal harmony. Extra twists are provided by a love story between the Muslim and Christian alongside an all-Hindu love story (Ganesh and Savitri). In the end it turns out that all the protagonists descended from the greedy Hindu merchant and from his equally high-caste Hindu chauffeur’s (Baliah) family, providing ample material for tearful recognition scenes. Several famous songs underscore the film’s attempt to advocate a nationalist secularism e.g. Vandhanaal mudhal indhanaal varai (sung by T.M. Soundararajan and G.K. Venkatesh) which castigates man’s tendency to separate nature into categories of distinction, or the Ramzan song Ellorum kondaduvom (also sung by Soundararajan). Kannadasan belonged to the DMK’s Rationalist Group and included ironic lines which redeem the didacticism of the script. The star studded cast - and notably Radha’s remarkable performance - ensured the film’s enduring success and Bhimsingh went on to establish himself as the main purveyor of moralising all-star movies in the 60s.